Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, is backing the new Get Up, Get Tested, Get Back to Normal campaign which highlights how twice-weekly testing can enable everyone to get on with their lives safely.
She said: "Regular testing, even if you do not have coronavirus symptoms, is helping to stop the spread of the virus. And given that the new variant of concern first identified in India has now reached Wolverhampton, it is imperative that we do everything we can to stop the spread.
"We all have a role to play in the fight against coronavirus and through the Get Up, Get Tested, Get Back to Normal campaign we are encouraging everyone to make rapid Covid-19 testing part of their regular routine, whether they're heading off to work, to the gym, to school, or meeting up with friends and family.
"Why is testing so important? Well, very simply, we know that one in three people with Covid-19 do not have symptoms. But they could still be infectious and pass on the deadly virus to vulnerable family members, friends or colleagues.
"Regular testing will enable us to find these cases, help track the prevalence of the virus in the city and, ultimately, help us get back to normality more quickly.”
She added: "Like many others, I am making sure I get a rapid test before I meet with others indoors, for instance at council meetings and the recent local election count, and when I am taking family members to hospital and doctor's appointments. As we are opening up further, there will be more face-to-face interactions and regular testing will become even more important for all of us."
Free rapid testing for people without symptoms of Covid-19 is available at The Civic Centre, St Peter's Square (Monday to Friday, 8am to 7pm and Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 2pm), The Jamia Masjid Bilal, Newhampton Road West (10am to 7pm daily), The Hub at Ashmore Park (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9am to 6pm and Saturday, 10am to 2pm) and the mobile test unit which is currently at New Cross Hospital (by the Urgent and Emergency Care Centre, 10am to 7pm, daily).
Meanwhile, free home rapid testing kits can be collected from the mobile unit, the Civic Centre, The Hub at Ashmore Park, PCR test centres, Bilston Market, Wolverhampton Market, WV Active leisure centres, Wolverhampton Swimming and Fitness Centre, a number of city schools and from local pharmacies offering the Pharmacy Collect service (details at NHS).
People can collect 2 boxes at a time, containing a total of 14 home test kits. The kits include step-by-step instructions to complete the test, and people are reminded they should register their result, even if it is negative.
More information on rapid testing, including advice about how to take the test at home, is available at Lateral Flow Home Test Kits.
The Get Up, Get Tested, Get Back to Normal campaign is supported by the City of Wolverhampton Council, the NHS and West Midlands Police.